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Weeks after taking office again as President of Brazil, Lula da Silva made his first trip outside the country. On January 23 and 24, he met with his colleagues from the region at the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Hosted by Argentina, the event brought together leaders from more than 15 countries. In one of the most viral moments of the day, the Brazilian president had some surprising words for the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.
It is well known that Lula maintains excellent relations with the Argentine government, headed by President Alberto Fernandez and VP Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Precisely, his friendly comments towards Maduro were made during a joint speech with his Argentinean counterpart, who also often dallies with the Venezuelan dictator.
The setting was the impressive White Room of the Casa Rosada, where the presidents courted each other with complicit laughter and signed a strategic agreement of the utmost importance for the future of their bilateral relationship. “Today is a day of celebration between Brazil and Argentina,” said Lula da Silva at the beginning of his speech.
Sooner than later, he was asked about the Venezuelan dictatorship, harshly criticized by some of the attending leaders, such as Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay), Mario Abdo Benítez (Paraguay) and even the leftist Gabriel Boric (Chile). When referring to the country that was governed for the last 24 years by Chavismo, Lula assured that the situation must be resolved with “dialogue” and “not with a blockade.”
“We are going to solve it with dialogue and not with threats of occupation. With dialogue and not with personal offenses. Brazil is going to reestablish diplomatic relations with Venezuela. We want Venezuela to have an embassy in Brazil and Brazil to have an embassy in Venezuela,” said the Brazilian president.
He then seemed to forget that Venezuela has been ruled by a dictatorship for more than 2 decades. “We are going to re-establish civilized relations between two autonomous, free and independent States […] We have already achieved it once and we are going to achieve it again,” he assured.
The meeting that never took place between Lula da Silva and Nicolás Maduro
The two were scheduled to meet in Buenos Aires, as they were going to participate in the Celac summit, but this meeting had to be canceled after dictator Maduro cancelled his plans to travel to Argentina. However, this meeting had to be called off after dictator Maduro decided to cancel his plans to travel to Argentina, due to an alleged “plan developed within the right wing” against him.
According to Lula, bilateral relations between the two countries will be reestablished within two months after the summit. At the same time, he said that he will not miss the opportunity to meet with Maduro and that the meeting will simply “be postponed for another opportunity.”
Joaquín Núñez es licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política nacional norteamericana. Confeso hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda. Contacto: firstname.lastname@example.org // Joaquín Núñez has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and national American politics. Confessed fan of Racing Club of Avellaneda. Contact: email@example.com